Data sources you can use for a mail merge

Important notice for users of Office 2003    To continue receiving security updates for Office, make sure you're running Office 2003 Service Pack 3 (SP3). The support for Office 2003 ends April 8, 2014. If you’re running Office 2003 after support ends, to receive all important security updates for Office, you need to upgrade to a later version such as Office 365 or Office 2013. For more information, see Support is ending for Office 2003.

You can use just about any type of data source for a mail merge.

Important: Accessing any of these data sources from an HTTP location is not supported. Save the file to your local hard drive before you use it as a mail merge data file.

Here are examples of data sources.

Microsoft Outlook Contact List

You can retrieve contact information directly from your Outlook Contact List.

Microsoft Office Address List

You can create a simple Office Address List during the mail merge, and access it for later use. This is best for small, simple lists that you don't use frequently.

Microsoft Excel worksheet or Microsoft Access database

With Excel, you can select data from any worksheet or named range within a workbook. With Access, you can select data from any table or query defined in the database.

Other database files

You can use:

  • A data source you connect to by using the Data Connection Wizard.

  • Files from single-tier, file-based database programs for which you have installed an OLE-DB provider or ODBC driver (a number of which are included with Microsoft Office).

You can access these sources or start the Data Connection Wizard by clicking New Source in the Select Data Source dialog box.

HTML file

You can use an HTML file that has a single table. The first row of the table must contain column names and the other rows must contain data.

Different type of electronic address book

You can use the following types of address books:

  • A Microsoft Outlook Address Book.

  • A Microsoft Schedule+ 7.0 Contact List.

  • The Personal Address Book that you created for use with Microsoft Exchange Server.

  • Any similar address lists that were created with a MAPI-compatible messaging system, such as Microsoft Outlook.

Microsoft Word data source or a header source

You can use a Word document as a data source. The document should contain a single table. The first row of the table must contain headings, and the other rows must contain the records you want to merge. You can also use a header source as a data source.

Text files

You can use any text file that has data fields separated (or delimited) by tab characters or commas and data records separated by paragraph marks.

Note: If you installed Microsoft Office (instead of installing Microsoft Word by itself), you can also use Microsoft Query to construct a query and retrieve the data you want from an external data source.

Was this information helpful?

How can we improve it?

How can we improve it?

To protect your privacy, please do not include contact information in your feedback. Review our privacy policy.

Thank you for your feedback!